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Online Marketing and Advertising Metrics

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Online marketing and advertising is a strategy every business owner should be using to improve the bottom line and generate more business. Below are three key metrics to use for gauging your online marketing and advertising efforts and effect.

Cost Per Lead (CPL) is the cost of bringing a lead to your business. Leads can come from a variety of generation methods, including: opting-in to your email list on your website, calling your office, filling out your online form, purchasing a product, et cetera. Generating these leads cost you something. For example, the cost of maintaining your website, the cost of getting your phone number in front of the customer, the cost of your online marketing and so on. Measuring your cost per lead is very important. 

Online Marketing Strategy for the Long Term

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Here's a great article by Seth Godin The secret of the web (hint: it's a virtue). From the article: 

Business Lessons

Saturday, July 31, 2010

When I was 15 years old, I started a lawn mowing business with a good friend of mine. We had a mower, a weed eater, and a desire to make money. We were in business.

We started out by walking door-to-door in my neighborhood passing out flyers. The name of our business was "Mighty Mowers". I made a black and white flyer featuring two buffed guys mowing a lawn. I wasn't buffed then (nor am I now) but the idea of two buffed guys mowing lawns was sure to land us a bunch of accounts.

The flyers worked out really well and we started getting accounts. At first we would literally push our lawn mowers up and down the streets in our neighborhood, going from house to house cutting the grass. Soon, it became too much work and my Dad joined our operation as the driver. We put the mowers in the back of the truck and would drive to each house.

As our business started to pick-up, we needed to get a trailer. My friend's dad had an old trailer that we fixed-up and painted. The trailer had to be red because my Dad's truck was red... it was really cool. When I turned 16 my Dad officially retired from the business and I started driving to all our accounts. Our first year in business was very successful. We made a lot of money and were having fun!

The next year began much the same way. We made copies of the flyer and passed them out door-to-door. We had almost all the accounts from the first year. With good word-of-mouth (and my great flyer), we added more accounts to the route. We started to get really busy. My Dad came out of retirement and started helping us again. We also put a couple of our friends to work 3-4 days a week.

The money was rolling in. It was a great business. I continued to own and operate the business through the summer before college. Then, after my first year in college, I was too busy playing baseball to continue operations. So, I gave the business to my cousin. He ran the business for about 2 months. Ultimately, he lost all the accounts and Mighty Mowers went into history as a great business that was ruined because of bad customer service.

Looking back, I realize what an awesome business I had! It was all cash, the revenue was reoccurring, our customers loved the service and it was scaleable.

You might ask: "Why not start another lawn mowing service?" Well, I have thought hard about it. However, there's a number of reasons why I didn't do it again. When we first started Mighty Mowers there we only 3 or 4 lawn mowing companies in town. Now the competition is fierce. Today the licensing requirements are very strict. And, there's not really a competitive advantage. But the number one reason is the amount of competing lawn mowing companies. There are simply too many.

When you're looking to start a business, or buy a business, you need to look hard at the competition. If there are too many competitors--even it you're the best--it's harder to win. 

Your Website is your Biggest Storefront

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I just read a great article from Adage about the importance of a company's website. 

Online Business and Brand Consulting

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I'm a bus dev guy. That is my passion. I currently own two businesses and am working on a third. Being an entrepreneur is hard. In addition to the long hours and hard work, there is a lot of ups and downs! And, (in most cases) when you first start out, you have to do--and learn--everything: accounting, marketing, sales, operations, legal, fixing the toilet... et cetera. Is it worth it? Totally!

When I first started my web design and development company Bullsprig I didn't quit my day job. Let's face it, I needed to pay the bills somehow. What I did was work on the business at night, after my "real job". I would come home from work and spend time with my wife (girlfriend at the time) then, when she went to bed, I would get to work. This is what it takes guys. Hard work. Period. No other way about it.

I have a lot of entrepreneur / start-up business clients at Bullsprig. I love it because I love helping people achieve their dream of financial independence. Over the past couple of months, I have taken a good, 360 degree, look at my business. What are my clients really looking for? What do my clients want from me?

There is obviously a lot of answers to these questions, but I think I have really narrowed it down.

So, what's the point of this post? Well, I want to tell all my beloved readers and clients I'm taking Bullsprig in a new direction. Yes, we will continue to provide web design and development services and online marketing services. But, we're going to go a step further and provide more consulting services regarding their online and social media presence. We're going to help our clients build brand equity online. 

New Web Design and Development Product from Bullsprig

Thursday, March 25, 2010

We are currently developing a new product to help business owners, individuals and other web designers build and publish websites. We're really excited about this new product... the ease of use, the functionality, low cost, etc.

The design and development of this project has been a lot of fun! From the beginning, we've asked a lot of hard questions: Why do we need this? What problems are we solving? Will customers purchase and use it?

I think the answer is yes! Of course, we hope customers will adopt our new product at a fast clip. Only time will tell.

We will go live with this new product soon. I'll keep you up-to-date! 

Paperwork is Not a Key Business Indicator

Friday, March 19, 2010

Most companies have a lot of paperwork. Paperwork is NOT a key business indicator. It's "stuff". It's busywork.

This stuff takes a long time to do... time that could be spent doing other things. It's time to take a step back. Look at your business. What are your key business indicators? That's what you need to focus on. Not the stuff.

If you're in business, you should know what your key business indicators are. If your KBI's are not measuring up to your standard, it's time to make a change.

Not getting enough hits to your website? No leads? No new clients? Revenues are down?

Dig deeper. Find out why. The answer is usually right in front of you. 

Meetings Mean Nothing

Sunday, March 14, 2010

This post is about Meetings. Everyone knows what they are. Some love them, some hate them. I personally hate them. Meetings get nothing accomplished and waste everyone's time.

Every week we will get 2-3 calls requesting a meeting, usually lunch. Every time I say no thanks. I don't have enough time in my day to go to lunch and talk about nothing. Not that I don't eat lunch, it's just that if I go to lunch, I want to go with my wife, or with friends.

A huge red flag for us is a client who wants to meet. We've learned this from experience. The prospective clients who actually want work done don't ask for meetings. The majority of clients who want meetings aren't serious.

Currently, we have 6 clients I have never met in-person. Ever. Would I like to meet them? Sure. Do I want to drive to San Francisco or fly to LA to meet them? Not really.

With these clients, we get projects done over the phone, via email and other communication devices. It's a huge time-saver. And, it actually gets things done.

The worst thing about meetings is they almost always get off-track. The conversation turns to something totally unrelated to the original topic.

Before I started Bullsprig, I worked for a company with about 100 employees. This company loved meetings. At the time, I actually liked the meetings. I was fresh out of college, so didn't know any better. I was that guy. I would sit through the meeting... act like I was taking notes, contribute here and there, and leave. With nothing done.

I have a completely different perspective now. If we have a meeting that we absolutely have to attend, I don't send any of our designers, I go. Our designers have way more important things to do. When I go to the meeting, it's time to take charge. I don't want to dilly dally. Let's get to the point, find a solution, and put someone in-charge of implementing the solution.

Here's a perfect example of how to get things done without on-site meetings. Currently we're working on a website for a very successful entrepreneur and business man who lives in Arkansas. We are almost finished with his website, and have done everything over the phone and via email. It's been very fast and efficient. Once we get the final copy from him, we'll go live. The entire project time: 2 weeks. I love projects like this!

So next time you're confronted with a meeting, don't go. Try something different. You'll be surprised what you can accomplish. 

Your website IS your business. Take control of your online success today.

Contact us to learn more about what Bullsprig can do for you.

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